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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 27, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EST

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these wars. 60% in the last poll, the pew foundation poll say that they don't think the war in afghanistan was worth fighting. 63%. and yet for various reasons they're not out on the streets demanding the end of the war. they're not mobilizing the way people were mobilized against the vietnam war. i think for some fairly clear reasons, not just the draft, which is always used as the explanation for why -- i always thought and i argue in the book that's not a very good explanation for why there is not a stronger antiwar movement today. ..
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>> the antiwar movement in the vietnam era proved out of two decades of the most sensational economic growth anybody had ever seen, which raised expectations across the board and made young people in particular believe that they were entitled to a better life than going to fight in the jungle for a cause they didn't understand. now people are worried about jobs, about what their next, where their next neil is coming from. it's a different second fear.
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the fear engendered by the 9/11 attacks are horrific trauma is still with us. and fearful people are also much more easily whipped into line, or easily induced to believe that they are in danger by forces that the government points out, points act as endangering forces. little by little it seems that trauma is disappearing, but especially when government itself with the fear up -- whips the fear. when there's a concert don't beat of attention on possible terrorist attacks which seems to me are not going to the purpose of warning us since a lot of them are useless in terms of altering our behavior. i think they are consciously or subconsciously also playing the role of maintaining the fear, keeping her alive as stephen colbert would say.
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and third, we have a president in the white house into an great hopes for peace were invested. the fact that he sent 3000 troops to afghanistan after reviewing the situation didn't destroy people's faith in him. although it undermined it you might say to some extent. it was not the situation yet where lyndon johnson was elected as a peace candidate in 1964, and in 1965 cents 500,000 troops to vietnam and a sense of betrayal was so big you could cut it with an eye. i know because i expressed it myself and many people in this room probably did also. but by the same token it seems to me one can say when the fear lifts, when the economy begins to recover, when the hopes in
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obama or any other leader begin to fade further, when people become tired of obsessive warfare of what is called the forever war. one could reject a revival of some kind, antiwar sentiment. one of the things that seems to me we can't do, we mustn't do, is to buy into the argument that since there are not many american casualties, comparatively speaking, since thousands of body bags are not coming back from the war zone, we can't accept war as normal with the colonel level of violence, and accept that as normal. and so let me conclude by reading, the conclusion of this book which talks about the fact
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that death in a morgan -- in american wars are down. but we are seeing horrifying increases and entries generated by asymmetric warfare against hostile groups wielding low-tech weapons, such as improvised explosive devices. american veterans hospitals are jammed with soldiers suffering the effects of severe head injuries, indications and post-traumatic stress. the suicide rate among combat veterans is skyrocketed. furthermore, we have to question the official definitions of high, low, acceptable casualty rates. was the iraq war worth more than 4300 american lives, and 32000 wounded? and i conclude by saying that even if we could lower the number of u.s. casualties to zero, that should not consent, that should not secure our consent to the slaughter of foreigners in unjust wars.
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100,000 at least died in the iraq war. some estimates run as high as 500,000. people who think that we will continue to conduct wars like this, for a guarantee of our own safety, don't have a very high opinion of americans moral character. the major premise of this book which i want to close by referring, is that we will not kill and die without being convinced that the struggle is justified on grounds of legitimate self-defense or moral duty. the current war system seems designed consciously or unconsciously to wean us from the habit of demanding justifications for war. moral justification to war. it's an act of faith perhaps to assert that this will not work, that americans will remain unwilling to fight except for a cause they are convinced is
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just, but i'm going to keep that faith, and i hope you will keep it as well. thank you very much. [applause] >> well welcome let's have some talk. >> i wonder if you have any cases or keys has been patriotic and effective in combating or counteracting war? i ask as a former peace corps volunteer and a quaker where people say, war is not the answer, which is more pragmatic and for moral reasons, it's not the answer. but has keys, has the peace movements been effective counteracting war? >> yes. well, it's very interesting question.
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and i think one that i should probably in the book addressed at more length than i do, because it seems to me two things are true. one is that although there are, there are frequent debates between pro-war and antiwar forces whenever a major war is proposed. and the antiwar forces mostly lose those debates. that is, the wars are generally happen despite the antiwar movement. there are also cases that are harder to spot, in which the war doesn't occur because the people in power recognize that americans wouldn't stand for it. they recognize if you like an advance, that they better not help to create the peace movement or take one on in a political fight that they're going to lose. they are several examples of that. one of the most interesting
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which i do talk about a day in the book is the debate about what to do about vietnam. when the french lost the battle and were driven out of vietnam, they were powerful forces in washington thought the united states should intervene. we already given some military aid to the french and they're asking for special forces and so forth. they're asking for people, boots on the ground. eisenhower had said not yet. or no. at the same time there's some evidence that eisenhower was scarcely considering an intervention. well, we didn't have an intervention. and it was for several reasons. one is that the korean war had just been fought and people were tired of war. a second was that when you look at the congressional debates,
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and they were congressional debates about what to do about vietnam, after dien bien phu, you find congressman getting up and saying the french assembly a colonialist power, and if we go into we will be playing the french game. we shouldn't try to replace the french in indochina. that's not why we fought in world war ii, duty, the new old world empire. and that was -- nobody called of those people come in this because they said that. they said yes, that's right. we didn't have the war, then. we didn't have the war until 10 years later. and more to get the war 10 years later, 13, well, however many, 11, 12 years later, lyndon johnson had to cook up the gulf fiasco. which he himself said there's a
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statement, if i find i tell them about what johnson said after the u.s. destroy for allegedly fired on by north vietnamese pt boats in the tonkin gulf in 1964, johnson was asked about it later and said off-the-cuff but it was recorded, those boys did know what they were shooting at. the people, they must've been drunk or something, they did know what they were shooting out. because, in fact, i've been a challenge to u.s. boats in the tonkin gulf of the night before the tonkin gulf incident, it's worth reading up on this, it's amazing people don't know these stories better than they ought to know them, the night before the tonkin gulf, the alleged tonkin gulf attack, u.s. destroyers had been a company south vietnamese raiding parties who were raiding a north vietnamese territory. and it was all hush-hush, of course. we weren't supposed to be doing the. so the north vietnamese pt boats
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came out and challenge the destroyers who were doing that, but didn't fire on them. and when the destroyers of hostile action, they ran, they were outgunned. the next night all that we know is that destroyers, the maddox and the turner joy started firing. and that's what johnson said those boys did know what they were shooting at. there's no evidence that they were firing at anything. but since the united states was involved in an illicit activity the night before which could not be discussed, the whole thing was basically a fraud, and johnson knew it was a fraud, which he used to get a blank check to make compliant congress. they passed the tonkin gulf
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resolution. there were only two votes in the senate against. wayne morrison and ernest greening. and i know morrison. i used to know him. i used to go to his office to congratulate him right after the tonkin gulf promoting against the tonkin gulf resolution. and he said two things that have stayed with me, this is not in the book. he said two things that stayed with me everything he said them. so nice to be thanked by anybody. i mean, i was just a kid. i just started law practice. i was nobody. nobody else was telling him good, well done. and the second thing he said was, linden is totally in the pentagon. he believes everything they tell him and he will have iphoto thousand troops in vietnam by the end of the year. and i thought to myself, it's what claire boots said about morris is right, he's crazy.
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it sounded really unbalanced to me. it wasn't unbalanced. >> could you comment further on a different dynamic, let's say, in my generation, your generation, where did make any difference whether you went to harvard or slippery rock state already lived on beacon hill or south boston, if your draft board wanted you or you have a low number, you were in. great job. it was like $73 a month for anyone. unless of course you had more important things to do like mr. cheney. and at that time, you know, there was this give peace a chance because it was across the population, socioeconomic in the population. been for the last 30 years,
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we've had a professional army. not a bad job. and what their job is, is to go. that's their job. and that's what they get paid for. when i was in we were itching for a fight and we were trained for a fight. but we were civilian soldiers, so to speak. there are no longer civilian soldiers. they are professional soldiers and that's what they get paid to do is to kill people. so could you comment on, further on the dynamic here, the difference? >> i'm not sure much of a comment is called for. that's a pretty interesting statement, and i suppose one thing i would -- [inaudible] >> let me say, to make this point. charlie rangel, you know, has
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introduced a bill. he knew it wasn't going to go anywhere. basically to revive the draft in order to impose the burdens of war on anybody state. if you're going to levy war, let's have consensus around it. let's not have this strange situation where this kind of passiveness content we have a majority against the war but the war continues anyway. welcome in theory that makes sense but in practice he knows it's not going anywhere. one reason it's not going anywhere is -- a couple of reasons. one is that to justify it across the board draft you have to make it strong case that th the war s in accordance with american values, and that it is necessary. and one thing that i didn't talk about in my little talk papers, i saw the clock moving, is the idea that a war is necessary or that a warrant is a last resort,
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is the acme of foolishness. there have been cases in american history and maybe world war ii is one of them when, after munich, after hitler tore up the munich agreement, there was nothing more to do. than to fight. but in virtually every other case, if you analyze it, you find two things are true. i'm sorry, this is a diversion. one, the americans don't negotiate very well. you know, we often break off negotiations, or we claim that they're breaking off negotiations but really we did and so forth. not interested at all in negotiation. in the case of the first gulf war, all saddam hussein wanted to do finally was to leave kuwait with his troops without any concessions, and bush, bush
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the first said we will see him in baghdad. in other words, that war was not about getting hussein out of kuwait. that war was about destroying the iraqi army. the iraqi armed forces. and occupying iraq through the, you know, sanctioning iraq. negotiations sometimes doesn't exist because we don't want it to. but even when we do negotiate or are willing to negotiate sometimes, we consistently confuse negotiation with conflict resolution. or to put it a different way, a more generous way, people haven't learned yet in washington with conflict resolution is. that is not sitting down at a table with a gun under the table instead of on top of the table and bargaining from strength. it's analyzing the problems that brought the conflict about so that you could do something about, you could eliminate the
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cost of the conflict. people around the world are catching on as to how this works, and it's been used in northern ireland and it's been used throughout eastern europe. it was used in macedonia. it's been used in georgia and all over the place, but we, i include barack obama in the week, have not yet learned that negotiation, if negotiation is just a bargaining, it's just another use of strength. but if negotiation is an analysis of the problem and the development of a great upon solutions to the problem, it's something entirely different. and until you do that, war is never a last resort. if you have a tight conflict resolution, you can't say war is the last resort just because negotiations broke down. and one more thing about this, to get back to your question, one more thing about the draft issue, one of the things that i
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think went to start facing is that even people, the best intentioned people and the most antiwar people, find it difficult to look at the economic realities of war we face. one of the economic realities is that we've been practicing what some people call military keynesianism. for the past at least 30 years. maybe longer. ever since world war ii perhaps, military industrial demand has replaced by keynesian economists and others would consider a deficit in demand. and the question is how can we make up for that, how can we supply that demand without producing weapons of destruction and people are wielding those instructions -- those weapons of destruction?
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if we are shying away from that problem, is it because we're afraid of putting the government and competition because socials is such a bugaboo that we can't even talk about a mixed economy? i don't know. but i know that we are come in the way we are being morally compromised it seems to me by our knowledge that if we actually did get out of the war business we would have an economic crisis that would be a lot worse than the one we have now, unless we solve that problem. and on the jobs, this gets to the draft business, that the draft, i mean, i just got back from a trip to the midwest where i visited some towns in southern indiana where i know some people. and all the trucks, all the pickups, they've got support the troops science and the slides all over the place. i went into a bar to do a little participant research over a
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beer, and talked to the guys at the bar and said, you know, a lot of guys have a lot of interest supporting the troops. and one of the guys at the bar said, well we should, they are our children. and somebody else said, what else are they supposed to do? nothing else to do around here in the de-industrialized midwest. the town where i was by the way was richmond, indiana. used to be an auto parts center. no more auto parts. there's nothing to do but he to go into the arms are going to some of the security business. you know, there's a person nearby that is a big job creator. so it seems to me we need to start talking about this. this is part of the reality. this is what keeps us at war. and when i review my own book, critically, i would say it doesn't talk about this enough. >> i'm a little uneasy with that approach that he seems similar
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to an economist that believes that markets operate rationally. it seems to me that when you talk about, that people go to war or that americans, their civil religion has been commit war when it seems to be justified. and if you substitute self-interest which is a very small change for self-defense, then you have at least sometimes a wounded beast instead of acting irrationally. and it may be -- i mean, the spectrum of what self-interest by defeat might be anything from profit or any number, you know, desire to stay in office. but if one thinks that
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fundamentally americans, you know, go to war on rational principles, you may be missing the point entirely. >> but i don't. unit, i hesitate to use -- i hesitate to use the word rational, or irrational. when one is talking about values. some people might say that's a high rationality or some people might, you know, whatever. i don't want to go there, into -- what i do think, however, what i know and i think you would agree is that the government was no more likely to come in a case of iraq and say we're interested in the oil than they were in the case of the philippines and say we're interested in the sugar. or cuba, we are interested the tobacco. they know -- people in america are not going to buy it, that they may be very self interested
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in their own lives, you know, they may be hustling to make money or whatever in their own lives. they know that it's not right to send their children, their loved ones, their parents, whatever to go out and get killed for oil, or for sugar, or for geopolitical advantage somewhere, or for the bagram air base in afghanistan, our work can't upon steel in kosovo, or whatever. that's the way elite's talk about their interest is not the way ordinary people talk about inches and is one of the cases in which the ordinary people on much more solid ground ethically speaking, it seems to me. is that they have to make these appeals, the elites have to make the deal based on these on values. on interest.
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and it's a surprise me in such an interest base, it's a surprise to me that political scientists and historians didn't see this more clearly. in part because they're so enamored of their own interest theories, it seems to me. >> over 50 years ago general dwight david eisenhower in his famous farewell speech warned about the military-industrial complex. eyesight got to all of my friends. do you cover that in your bookmarks and the second half of my question is, i worked hard to elect barack obama. i thought he was a reconciler, and this problem happened since you wrote the book, but he bought hook, line, and sinker lock, stock and barrel the military-industrial complex that he inherited from bush. any comments on that?
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>> no. not really. on the military-industrial complex i don't talk about that in my book. perhaps i should have. there are a couple of very good books that came out a little before mine that do, which i think is one reason i didn't go into it in more detail. tom englehart's book the death of victory culture which is a very interesting book talks about it and there's another with talks a lot about it but i will find a letter and i'll mention it to you. no, it's a very important statement. a statement that always struck me as amazingly innocent that is, he did know about this beforehand? you know, but i think he did and. i think is a fighting joe cummings also a political general but his business was
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war. but when he saw what, the way to peace and a sense invaded by war so that you can't even have a war department anymore. now it's defense department but it's not a war budget. it's a defense budget. that i think he was surprised and upset. [inaudible] >> i also think he was under the illusion that president made decisions. and to the extent to which, it's really hard to know what is going on with obama. it's hard for me to know what's going on, and hard for anybody i think you know what's going on with obama. in the sense there's a parallel may be, that is to say, i have no, i have no reason to believe that obama has ever thought
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about structure, about social structure. he thinks about identity a lot and he thinks about, i think he is a sense a reconciler when it comes to identity-based issues, but the idea that there are also structural issues, that there are class issues that are more than identities, including identity but more than identity, the idea that the economy is in the hands -- the economy is in the hands of a few people relatively few interest, very powerful interest, as we know, who drove the economy off a cliff right before he came into office. and all he could think of to do what's to put them back in charge, the same people who drove the economy off the cliff.
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now, it's hard to blame him in essence for this, because if you ask the question, well, what else should he have done or who else was there? he couldn't -- he could have brought, i suppose he could have appointed paul krugman to a higher position or something, but, in fact, people who were not in that relatively small group of experts were disqualified from being experts. you know, i think in a hierarchical organized system like that you have a severe marginalization of people with alternative views, alternative visions. how to structure an economy. who even asked that question? you can go to any economics department and university come including the one around the corner here, and to that question asked asked very often.
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what alternative ways are there to structure an economy other than the one we've got right now? the people who have been asking and answering those questions come and i could give you a list of names of them, i know some of them are, but then are considered nuts, or visionaries or impractical or to green or two left, or to local or to this or to that. so you have is now strained situation, i think it's a definition of a system in serious trouble, people who would certainly define it as a symptom, systemic crisis, when the only people you have available to fix something that has gone wrong are the same people that made it go wrong. so it suggests, you know, and need for a broadening for discussion that includes many more voices than the voices we've been listening to up to
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now, on the economy and our foreign policy, and i would say across the board, on poverty in america. 15 million people unemployed in this country, half of them for more than 21 weeks. and we set up a well -- we say, oh, well. [inaudible] >> if we have a 60% opposition to war and strong antiwar groups at all times, and that build up in the press and elsewhere to discussing whether to go to war, i mean, u.s.a. conflict resolution advocate, i think your essential point as we go to war too soon. and i wonder if, if we don't have a structural flaw in our democratic system that as a democracy, 60% oppose the war, we keep going there. if we don't have washington too much on the hairtrigger.
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what seems to happen is that the president gets committed to it and moves in on a temporary basis and then everybody either has to be disloyal to our troops who have been sent in, or have to start funding it. it seems as if the president now has too much power. >> i think that's very well put. i'm not sure if it's too much power are too much countervailing power, but -- >> we usually don't get started until it's too late to back out. >> i think that's actually write, i agree with it, with everything you said. i would just add that we are seeing some change now in congress. in the last attempt, in the last bill to fund the afghan war, 53 congressmen voted against, congresspeople. that's not, you know, 400.
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but it's double, it's double the amount of opposition the time before that. there is some growth i think, what's exciting about that is more people are willing to come to take a stand. more people willing to say okay, call me unpatriotic. it's not, what i'm doing is not unpatriotic. nevertheless i think that what you said is quite right. >> mechanically the president can launch the invasion and that it's up to everybody else to force him to come back. >> then i think what i'm saying before about the economic issues, i think it becomes more relevant. one reason that i think, one reason that holds us back, one reason that it seems too late, is that people have gotten jobs from it.
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et cetera, people have gotten contracts from the. people have gotten jobs from. i see with my own students conflict resolution students, with the largest graduate program in the country in conflict resolution, about 350 masters and doctoral students, and the question is what did he do when they get out? well, some of them go, yes, you might imagine, some work for government. some work for foreign governments, some work of u.n. many of them work for ngos. many of them work for relief organizations, care or do development work. but more and more it's a government that is offering the jobs. does this goes back to what you said about the army that fights, that once people trained to fight and that's what they do, fight. more and more the army mission is getting more complicated than that. and because they are an occupation force that is expected to function in many
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ways as a development organization, winning the hearts and minds and so forth means building the schools and bridges and making peace between tribal leaders and all the rest of that. the petraeus approach to conflict means soldiers have got to be trained in conflict resolution. now, it's not conflict resolution when you're a party to the conflict. it's something else. you are using the techniques of conflict resolution in order to promote your side in the conflict. but they're often jobs to my students. and contracts to my colleagues. so, without dealing with the economic that is invol here, i'm not sure that we're going to be able to mount the kinds of protests or develop the kind of
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resistance that hope we can develop to what you call the hairtrigger. >> so, cuts in britain and projecting onto a 50,000 jobs in the green sector by 2030 or 2050, they're offering an alternative. so lovely we are working here, you know, working with veterans for peace and i kind of went off on my own working with a 25% solution. rand paul and barney frank. but it's so hard to get a pipe was to connect the dots. you know, you've got to cut out this militarism and/or to give you domestic a chance. >> it's true. it's true. >> as a look at history, one of the things i see myself as a parallel to what you talk about in terms of the moral nature of war, which is the rasul decision of war and as i look back at
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different wars that you talk about in your book, there's almost always a racial element whether it's japan in world war ii, the seminole war, various wars. and there's also the element of the wars that go back from king philip's war, 200 usually to the closing of the frontier. an example i always tell people is president mckinley at the beginning of the philippines were saying we had to go to the philippines to christianized our little brown brothers who had been christianized for a couple hundred years. so i fail just to ask, could you reflect on the nature of that racial station of war in these dialogues around more out of? taking especially about the indian war that went on and how those were not wars against a foreign entity per se, but they still were something that people justified as necessary. >> certainly, an interesting thing about it anymore is is all the confusion about what to make of the indians, from what the
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europeans expect when they first got here because there was, for a time they thought they were the children of god. mib laws can't drive, or they might be the noble savage. and it's only when they didn't do what they're told to get off the land and so forth that new englanders decided they were the children of the devil. but in a chapter the book or talk about able enemies, there's a section about basic attributes of the diabolical enemy. and attributes i talk about our easy tyrant. the enemy is a tyrant. okay, enough said about that. he seeks world domination. there's some discussion of that he is inhumanly cruel. he is deceitful, clever and malicious, like the father of lies, you know?
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so that pearl harbor fits very well there, the notion of the sneak attack idea, you can't trust these people and so on so you can never negotiate with people are tricky and malicious. he is radically unlike us is the last category. he is radically unlike us. i will read this to you quickly. this achieving of the evil enemy as often crystallize as a difference in skin color and racial features. from the indian wars to u.s. wars against filipino insurgents, japanese, north koreans and arab muslims, america's enemies have been thought of as inferior nonwhite and others. even when physical differences between white americans and their adversaries were nonexistent or minimal as in the case of the germans in two world wars, leftist rebels in latin america are arabs and the war on
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terrorism, cartoons, posters and other strictly his racial and ethnic stereotypes to portray the bad guys as swarthy villains. and i've got a couple of illustrations in this. the first book i ever had illustrations. and, so you can't see it of course why am i holding it up? this is a poster that says, a world war i poster, about germans. germans, german americans, the largest ethnic group in the united states at the time of world war i were german americans. americans eating frankfurters and hamburgers. not thinking much about frankfurters or hamburgers when they did it. american university system modeled on the german system, germany is the home of the culture, et cetera. this is before hitler, this is kaiser bill, who was a blunder
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or, plunderer. so here's an enlistment poster for world war i which says, destroy this mad brute. the mad brute is an ape, black with german world war i helmet on and a club in one hand that says culture and a white topless woman in his arms. and then if you go and you look at the anti-japanese posters, it's the same poster only, unicom is the yellow instead of black. so when it comes to fashion is a very good illustration of the way we construct race. we can struck racial category. if you want to dehumanize the people, if you try to appeal to
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white americans, you make them nonwhite. and then it's not just of course the racial difference but the associations, the association with brutality, the association with last for our women, you know, right out of mississippi a few years ago. do we still do it? i don't know. i know my muslim students and friends are afraid we still are doing it. and that it is any reason of the war on so-called war on terrorism, the so-called war on so-called terrorism, there is great fear in the community that what was done to the japanese in world war ii et cetera, will be done to them, that they will be put under surveillance. and is not subject to pogroms.
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and again, if you say, well, what's the racial difference? you know, if you're going to divide people up according to race, caucasian, right? so what? so certain one of the vicious byproduct of war is this tendency to great internal enemies, and to do what i talk in the book, i described in the book as campaigns of national purification. that part of the war dynamic with as seems to be that you begin with, we adopt a kind of communal patriotism. that is to say, we start to define america as a united communities, us against them. and then the question is, well, who is the us? welcome at the time of the civil war when the american family was
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being absolutely torn apart, the answer was the family. and the famous story -- anyway, i won't go into it all, but literature around the civil war, patriotic leisure around the civil war console use the metaphor of america as a family. what the time to think of america as a family when half the country was trying to leave. and what they thought of as brothers or sisters want to and have a house of their own in some other city? no, they were thought of as rapists of the mother actually. they were thought of as attacking mother america. but then if you look at world war i, and you see that's where we get 100% americanism, and the idea that america is one big ethnic ro
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but again, it's a reaction formation what the psychologist call a reaction formation. because what is had happened right before world war i was the greatest increase in ethnic and racial diversity that any country in the were probably had ever seen in such a short period of time. the enormous immigration from eastern europe, southern europe, asia, some of latin america also, but especially the european immigrations, that had people saying good lord, what is it to be an american? and that's exactly the point at which the war comes and we say, we are all americans. we are all one ethnic group. what? and how do you find that? what does it mean then to be an american? we all, i don't know, maybe believe some of the same things over we all -- that's what, there's this wonderful book about imagine communities that
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some of you may know, benedict anderson's book, benedict anderson says in the modern state can he talks about modern states, our imagined community in the sense that they represent a kind of fantasy and unity, which tries to bring about, try to realize itself and practice. so it's not just a fantasy. it tries to realize it's up in practice, but especially in his first announced a fantasy. then you get world war ii, and then you have the fantasy of a classless society. i mean, the country or just go through something very close to a revolution in the mid '30s, but now world war ii comes and we have the post -- look at the world war ii posters the next chance you get. i've got a couple in the book of the happy workers and a buddy is working together. no boxes, no workers, we are all the same, we are all a americans. we are a classless society.
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the most recent version of this, i think, i shudder to say but i think it is true is that in response to the war on terrorism and its religious orientation, the religious orientation of some of the terrorists, we have santa huntington, class of civilization. he defined as in terms of religious values. he even calls china confucian which is pretty we but that is how he is defining, he is saying civilizations classing -- lashing on their values. and if that's true then american patriotism means, is religious, too. but since it, and if it is religious, what we are likely to hear more and more is that it's the western religion, it's the
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religion of human rights. it's the religion of women's rights. it's the religion of democracies, the religion of free choice in religion. it's the religion of all of that. as a kind of spiritual unification. and again it seems to me that comes along just in time to paper over, or try by magic, kind to do away with deepening divisions in our own society among people confessing different values and different religious beliefs. so, does this american religion which is being contrasted with the muslim religion, does that mean praying in schools or not? does that mean abortion or not? does that mean you have to believe in god to get elected to public office or not?
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et cetera. all of those inventions that are so deep among us now are kind of washed away in a general imagined community based on a unity of religious values. and, of course, the problem is that the people, the people who don't, are not included in that community are excluded. so we have campaigns of national purification to find and convert or stamp out when this happens. that's one of the reasons i think the war on terrorism is so scary. because god forbid if we get attacked again, if almost anything happens, and it seems almost inevitable that something will, one can see the fervor, you know, i roused, fervor
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aroused to basically turn the war into a war on islam. and to prepare to resist that is something i think we have to do now. bill that the war on terror turned into a war on islam. i think we are out of time. well, i've enjoyed it very much. i will stick around afterwards and we can talk afterward. thank you very much. [applause] >> this event was hosted by cambridge public library in cambridge, massachusetts. >> dr. bush, how did the juvenile justice system get started in this country?
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>> it got started right around the turn of the 20 century. the first juvenile court law was passed in illinois in 1899, establishing a separate court for juveniles and along with it came separate institutions for juvenile offenders. the system was so popular that it was copied by almost every other state in the union by the 1920s your texas adopted juvenile court law in 1907. >> and you write that the juvenile justice system has failed in this country. why do you think that it has failed? >> it failed because it failed to live up to its founding promise which was basically that it would establish a more protected system for youthful offenders. the juvenile justice system was founded on the concept that children were different am adult offenders, that there were less responsible for the offenses, and that they were more capable of being rehabilitated. so juveniles are supposed to be separated from adults and
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treated differently from adults. it's really failed to do that. today is very commonplace to see abuse scandals in juvenile institutions that are scarcely different from adult prisons. juvenile courts have adopted most of the same procedure features as adult courts. so too many critics, and i guess i would include myself in that group, it really has failed. >> tell us about the scandal at west texas state school that caught the public's attention and sort of fuel to this issue. >> the scandal broke in the news media in early 2007, and it was a sex abuse scandal. that's where sitting here right now, the last major figure in the scandal is on trial, four years after that scandal, just to give you an idea of how long it's really been going on. in this case a couple of administrators at one of the facilities in a remote area of west texas were coercing sexual favors from boy inmates, several
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of them, and using their powers as administrators. this went on for years, and it was basically covered up by higher ups within the state agency that oversaw that institution. and it was finally leaked out and then publicized. >> what is a super predator? >> super predator is a word that was going in the mid 1990s by a criminologist named john. it was originally intended to mean kids who kill without remorse, without conscious. and sort of randomly. really captured some of the popular movies of the period like national born killers. and in the mid 1990s there was a national panic over violent juvenile crime and that word became attached to that panic. the word also carry kind of a
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highly racial connotation to it. it seemed to many critics to refer to african-american and latino juveniles who are increasingly overrepresented in an incarcerated juvenile population speak also what role do you think race plays in the problems with our juvenile justice system? >> i think it's really central in a lot of ways, and i'm certain not alone in thinking that. whether you want to believe that use of color commit more crimes as some conservative color -- believe you're going to thank the system discriminates them, there's no doubt that race is a central factor in the two systems. >> how is justice a good case study for a problems throughout the entire country? >> texas throughout much of the 20 century was one of the largest juvenile justice systems in the country, just in terms of the number of use and the number of institutions that it managed.
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it's also a useful case study just because of the political and economic clout that the state has come to acquire over the course of the last 50 or 60 years, one of the largest states, with the most demographically diverse states. it's one of the most geographically diverse states. and it's one of the most politically powerful states are several recent u.s. presidents have come from texas. several important national legislators have come from tex texas. >> why did you want to write this book works what was the emphasis to get you started? >> my impetus to get started on this book really was an interest in how we as a society decide who the good kids are into the bad kids are, and then what is to be done with them. i initially began at looking at popular culture and representation of youth, and then i became dissatisfied with that and decided i needed to look at real kids and real
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policies and institutions that affected them. >> so, where does after all your research, would you texas and other states go from here? have you seen improvement since you've written a book or as you were writing the book? >> no. there's been a lot that has changed since i finished the book. as we sit here are legislature is considering abolishing the agency that oversees juvenile justice in texas. several large facilities have been shut down, as i was finishing the book. lots of kids have been sent back to the communities, and there really is a movement away from big institutions again and towards community-based facilities. part of that is being driven by the budget crises that are affecting many states across the country, including texas which is something like a $27 billion deficit to deal with right now. so that's really fueling a lot of this sort of progressive movement in some ways.
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>> great, dr. bush, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> c-span2, when a c-span's public affairs offerings, weekdays live coverage of the u.s. senate. stuff we're at the conservative political action conference talking with author mark joseph about his next upcoming book. please tell us what it is titled. >> "wild card." >> and tell us about the book and how you came up with the idea speaker i wrote during the '08 campaign, and continue to write it since then. my publishers didn't think it would get out in time for the campaign so they gave me the chance to update over the past two years, but it's really an overview of her life, politics and since then of coarse. >> so with all of the books that
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come out about her, what do you think is going to be new in yours we haven't heard before? >> i think that our book, my book has a chapter on her faith that is i think unique among the other books, special i think what's significant is that this is what the first, the closest that somebody coming from a pentecostal background sort of the wing of christianity has come to this kind of high office. and i think that there are ramifications that are interesting and i explore in the book. >> did she assist in the book or did you participate? >> no. >> thank you very much. >> coming up next pulitzer prize-winning author annette gordon-reed presents a biography of the 17th president of the united states, andrew johnson. ..


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